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Volvo Penta: Superyacht’s 100-mile experiment


Superyachts are not renowned for their modesty but, in a landmark demonstration of sustainable boating, a Volvo Penta IPS-powered Amer 94 has cruised at a variety of speeds over a 100-mile journey – while delivering radically lower fuel consumption.


The coast of north-west Italy was recently the scene of a pioneering experiment into the substantial fuel-saving potential of superyachts. Volvo Penta and Amer Yachts teamed up to demonstrate that the combination of a premium propulsion system and innovative boat design can create superyachts that deliver exceptional fuel efficiency.


A controlled 100-mile journey from Viareggio to Sanremo saw the Amer 94 reduce its fuel consumption by up to 45 per cent compared to yachts fitted with traditional inboard shaft installation.


These remarkable results are due to the craft’s lightweight design and the fitment of efficient and compact Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (IPS), which together slash the weight of the yacht by 20 tonnes – the weight of four elephants.


“In designing the new Amer 94, we wanted to create a yacht that is sustainable in many aspects,” says Barbara Amerio, owner of Amer Yachts. “We began the design process a year ago in collaboration with Volvo Penta and other companies. And in that one year we turned dreams into reality and proved that it is possible to have a sustainable superyacht with today’s technology.”


“The 100-mile challenge was originated to put this new yacht to the test in real-life conditions, and the results clearly show that it is possible to create a superyacht with excellent sustainability at sea.”


Real world fuel efficiency


During its 100-mile challenge the Amer 94 cruised at a range of speeds (9.13 knots, 19.1 knots, 23.5 knots, and 26 knots) in calm seas, navigating both against and with the current.


Across the speed ranges, data showed that the yacht had a reduction of fuel of up to 45 per cent, compared to inboard shaft-driven systems, as well as a drop in carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.


The results of the 100-mile challenge showed fuel reduction at the following levels:


9.3 knots: 38% fuel saving

19.1 knots: 45% fuel saving

23.5 knots: 42% fuel saving

26 knots: 40% fuel saving


Half of the Amer 94’s remarkable 20-tonne weight saving has been achieved thanks to the use of twin Volvo Penta D13-IPS1350 units. They require much less fuel to be carried onboard compared to inboard engines, as well as IPS’s lighter engine, gearbox, shaft, steering and exhaust.


The second 10-tonne weight saving has been achieved due to Amer Yachts’ use of lightweight materials. This includes using cork instead of teak decks, variable phase generators and stabilizer fins (instead of gyro-stabilizers).


“In having a long-standing relationship with Amer Yachts we set out to explore new opportunities for sustainability in yachting,” says Nicola Pomi, vice president of Volvo Penta’s European marine division.


“This unique yacht demonstrates that the excellent fuel-efficiency and lightweight attributes of Volvo Penta IPS complements intelligent design elements to achieve incredible levels of performance. Reduced onboard noise also adds to the superior comfort of this exceptional superyacht.”